Thursday, September 21, 2017

String & Nail Craft Project

 Three weeks in a row, my art students were able to work with wood and hardware supplies to create art.

I love it because it reinforces basic home improvement skills to help my students become more independent.  Visually Impaired students aren't just required to learn the same curriculum as their sighted peers, they are also required to learn an Expanded Core Curriculum that includes life skills that they wouldn't learn unless taught explicitly (from how to use a fork and knife to how to us a hammer and nail).

In terms of Art Standards,  this week we focused on "Line as Design Element".  Elements of Design or Art are the tools you use to make art. All week we sang a list to the tune of "Oh My Darlin'"/ "Found a Peanut":  "Line, Shape, Color, Value Texture, are the Elements of Art. Line, Shape, Color, Value, Texture, Are the Elements of Art." I know, I know, some lists include "point," and "form" (the 3D version of shape), and I talk about how those are valid. But I'm not a big fan of including "space" on the list because how do you create space?  You can create a sense of depth or illusion of space, by overlapping shapes, using linear perspective, or atmospheric perspective (value), etc. but you can't do it without using the other elements on our list, so I cover that when we talk about Principles of Design, and stick to the very essentials for elements. My apologies to the people who make the posters that include "space" as an element.

To make this project each student sanded and painted a board. Cut out a shape from a piece of paper and used that as a template to mark where to place nails. Then embroidery floss or yarn was chosen (a contrasting color form the painted board. The end of the string was tied to a nail before "connecting the dots. When  a student doesn't know where to begin I have them go around the outline of the shape, wrapping it around each nail as they go along. And then it is just a matter of exploring. If they didn't like what was happening it only took a minute to unwrap it and try something else. Exploring the possibilities of straight lines is a great way to begin learning about the elements of design...and so much more.

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